Press Notice from GM-Free Cymru 19th September 2012
In the most comprehensive GM feeding study ever conducted (1), it has been shown that GM maize is extremely toxic to rats when the animals are fed on it for a period of two years. By implication, all mammals (including human beings) which regularly consume GM products will suffer similar negative health effects, including cell damage and even tumours in all the vital organs.
In the long-term (24 month) feeding study conducted in the University of Caen in France by Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini and colleagues, ten groups of rats were fed on a diet containing non-GM maize or GM maize, or had Roundup added to their drinking water at extremely low concentrations. The researchers expected to find health damage associated with Roundup, since this has been demonstrated many times already in short-term feeding studies (2). However, they were surprised to find that the health effects associated with Roundup in drinking water were also experienced in rats fed on GM maize which were not at any stage exposed to Roundup. The conclusion was inescapable: that GM maize NK603 itself causes "hormonal disturbances in the same biochemical and physiological pathway" in the body as that followed by Roundup in various concentrations (3). This means in turn that the process of genetic manipulation causes an overexpression of the GM transgene EPSPS, which makes NK603 tolerant to Roundup in the field, leading to dramatic health problems in rats, and also premature death (4).
Commenting for GM-Free Cymru, Dr Brian John said: "This meticulous peer-reviewed work provides a total and unequivocal vindication of the work of Pusztai and Ewen in 1999. Dr Pusztai went public with his work on GM potatoes (5) because it showed that the very process of genetic transformation in a plant resulted in increased toxicity. He was vilified and sacked, and to its eternal shame the Royal Society played a key role in the character assassination of a man who was at that time one of the foremost scientists in his field, and who found something that the political and scientific establishment -- for a variety of reasons -- could not stomach. In a shameful episode of mass scientific hysteria, the messenger was shot, and nobody listened to his message (6). Well, Pusztai was right, and we and many others are still furious about the manner in which he was treated by inferior scientists, many of whom did not know what they were talking about. We hope that they will now issue a long-overdue apology, and accept that GM food is -- as Pusztai demonstrated -- toxic.
"While these cowardly senior scientists summon up the courage to apologize, three further things must now happen:
1. There must be an immediate moratorium on the GM approvals process in Europe, in view of the clear demonstration that the long-standing dependence on short (90-day) feeding studies is irresponsible and even criminally negligent. The system has, over and again, allowed the authorization of GM varieties that are toxic. These are in the food chain already, and particularly in the form of GM soy brought into Europe as animal feed. Livestock are suffering and dying as a result -- as evidence from the Danish pig farming industry shows (7).
2. The GMO Panel of EFSA, which has supposedly been looking after the health of the people of Europe for ten years or more, is now shown to have been scientifically incompetent if not corrupt. It has systematically denied all evidence of harm associated with GM crops and foods which has been brought to its attention, and it has given GM consents time and time again based upon the worthless assurances and fraudulent science of Monsanto, Syngenta and the other GM corporations. The EC now has no option other to disband the Panel and to reconstitute it in a manner in tune with the demands which have come from the European Parliament and from European NGOs for many years.
3. All current trials of GM crops being conducted in the UK, Ireland and the rest of the EU must now be halted, since of is now almost certain that any cross-contamination of related conventional crops will result in toxic products entering the food supply. The Precautionary Principle, which has effectively and illegally been abandoned within the EU, must now be used, as intended, for the protection of public health.
"Enough is enough. This is a dramatic and historic day in the history of GM research, and it must signal the end of this grotesque and dangerous experiment with living organisms that has already caused untold damage to the human population of Planet Earth (8)."
Contact: Dr Brian John GM-Free Cymru Tel 01239-820470 ----------------------------------------------- NOTES
(1) "Long-term Toxicity of a Roundup Herbicide and a Roundup-Tolerant Genetically Modified Maize" Gilles-Eric Seralini, Emilie Clair, Robin Mesnage, Steeve Gress, Nicolas Defarge, Manuela Malatesta, Didier Hennequin, and Joel Spiroux de Vendomois, Food and Chemical Toxicology, 19th September, 2012 (online)
(2) "Genetically modified crops safety assessments: present limits and possible improvements", Gilles-Eric Seralini, Robin Mesnage, Emilie Clair, Steeve Gress, Joël S de Vendômois and Dominique Cellier, Environmental Sciences Europe 2011, 23:10 doi: 10.1186/2190-4715-23-10 http://www.enveurope.com/content/23/1/10/#ins1
(3) Researchers found that NK603 and Roundup both caused similar damage to the ratsʼ health whether they were consumed on their own or together. Females developed fatal mammary tumours and pituitary disorders. Males suffered liver damage, developed kidney and skin tumours and experienced problems with their digestive system. The team also identified a "threshold effect" where even the lowest doses were associated with severe health problems.
(4) In the study, 50% of male rats fed on GM maize, or in the group drinking low concentrations of Roundup, died prematurely, as compared with 30% in the control group; but in the female groups the difference was much more spectacular, with 70 % of the treated group dying prematurely as compared with only 20% in the control group.
(5) http://feedingtheworldconference.wordpress.com/2008/11/10/notes-on-the- %E2%80%9Cpusztai-affair%E2%80%9D/ The conclusion of the research was that " those rats fed on the GM potatoes suggested that the GM transformation process (tissue culture plus gene insertion procedure) had produced a line of potato with unexpected toxic effects." "Effect of diets containing genetically modified potatoes expressing Galanthus nivalis lectin on rat small intestine", Ewen SW and Pusztai A. The Lancet. 1999 Oct 16;354(9187):1353-4.
http://www.gmfreecymru.org/open_letters/gibsoncorres.pdf http://www.gmfreecymru.org/open_letters/Open_letter12Nov2007.htm http://www.gmfreecymru.org/open_letters/Open_letter26Jan2011.html
(7) The PDF entitled "GM Soy linked to health damage in pigs -- a Danish Dossier" is to be found here: http://www.gmfreecymru.org/pivotal_papers/danish_dossier.html
(8) Arpad Pusztai and Susan Bardocz said: " Evidence is increasing to indicate that for reasons that are not completely understood the presently used crude genetic transformation techniques are not producing GM crops that have health-promoting properties in a predictable way as claimed -- but the case is rather the opposite". Pusztai also said of GM food: "The health effect may be long in coming, but it will come -- and the authorities will have been warned."